Best of Daily Reflections: Breakfast With Jesus
Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.
In John 21:1-14, the resurrected Jesus is seen on the rocky shore of the Sea of Galilee, bent over hot embers and cooking a meal of warm bread and grilled fish. Jesus calls out to his followers who are out on a boat, fishing. Although they don’t immediately recognize Jesus by sight, he encourages these fishermen, after a long unproductive nightshift, to cast their nets on the other side of the boat.
It is a strange request, but in child-like obedience, the six in the boat dutifully recast their nets. They are rewarded for their efforts with a record catch.
On the boat, Peter remembers this has happened before (Luke 5:4-11), and he recognizes Jesus for who he is, because of Jesus’ actions. This is how Jesus gets our attention. When we don’t see him for who he is upon sight, he demonstrates who he is with actions.
Jesus tells the fishermen, “Bring me some of the fish you caught.” This is an amazing statement. The six disciples just spent all night catching nothing until Jesus provided them the miraculous catch. Then, Jesus tells the disciples to bring their fish to him.
This is how Jesus engages with humanity. He wants us to bring him our fish, our gifts, our time, and our faith. In reality, all of our gifts belong to Christ, and he asks us to bring them to him. When we do, he will take them, bless them, break them, and give them back. Then, after we have had our fill, he will have us pick up the leftovers to remind us what just happened (Mark 8:6-8).
Want to have breakfast with Jesus? Bring your “own” fish.
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:
What are we keeping to ourselves that needs to be shared with Christ? Which does Jesus care more about, the fish or about the action of bringing the fish to him? Which do we care more about?
Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ our Lord, Amen.
READ THE PASSAGE IN CONTEXT:
After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.